Right-Click on Touchscreen

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Right-Click on Touchscreen

Postby Slip » Sun Jul 21, 2013 7:00 pm

I was so psyched by your #172 article "Distros for x86 tablets" that I bought an Acer Iconia W500.

I tried OpenSuse, with KDE first. Not bad, but somehow lacking. Unity, which I had not used before, was maddening. It had more accessibility extensions than OpenSuse, but when I tried fiddling with them the whole user interface went crazy. After this happened three times, I abandoned Unity.

I am very impressed with Mint 14 Mate. I have gotten nearly everything working extremely well, including a virtual keyboard at the login screen. I'm still vexed by one problem: how to generate a right-click on a touchscreen.

You may not notice how many functions in a modern GUI are dependent on the right-click, until you try to operate without one. Many things become impossible, including downloading files in Firefox.

What I would like to do is map the "Windows" button on the face of my Iconia W500 so that it simulates a right-click. The button doesn't seem to be used for anything else, and it would be very handy to be able to position my onscreen cursor, then click the Windows button to simulate a right-click.

After extensive searching online, I've gotten close, but I'm not there yet. I found a program called XBindKeys which will assign a command to a given key-sequence or mouse-click. What I need is a program which, when run, will simulate a mouse-right-click. Then, using XBindKeys, call that program with a keypress. I also need to know how the Windows button can be referenced in XBindKeys.

Does this seem like a viable workaround? Do you know of a program which can simulate a mouse-right-click? Does anyone have a better solution? I can't be the only tablet owner missing the right-click.

Thanks so much.
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Postby Rhakios » Sun Jul 21, 2013 8:43 pm

Thinking about Dolphin (and the default browser under Android come to that) on my tablet and phone, to get a context sensitive menu to appear you touch and hold on the item in question and then you get a menu appear with what I would normally think of as right click options (open in new tab, etc.).
On a Macbook trackpad one can position the cursor over a link and then two-finger click to get a right click menu.
Not sure if either of these options will work with Mate, but you could try.
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Postby guy » Sun Jul 21, 2013 9:30 pm

Touchscreen OS like Android and iOS do seem to provide some fancy touch-and-hold options, depending on how long you hold down. Swiping obscure places sometimes does interesting things too, such as opening the Settings dialog on my Nexus.

But on a desktop distro like Mint? Um. Though it hurts to say it, I'd expect Unity to be ahead of the pack here.
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Postby Slip » Tue Jul 23, 2013 4:55 pm

A long press activates select and drag, but alas, no right-click.

Mint actually works BETTER than Unity with my touchscreen, since all attempts to modify the Unity settings ended in an unusable interface.

This shouldn't be that hard. I can't possibly be the only one who needs a right-click, lots of people have these tablets now. Why wasn't this shortcoming mentioned in the article in issue #172? I guess the reviewer didn't really USE the distros he was testing.

A similar issue came up with getting a virtual keyboard at the login screen. After a lot of searching on the web, NO ONE had a solution that actually worked. I combined several suggestions, eventually figured out a fix, and of course posted my method to two forum sites so it would help others. Doesn't it seem like the need for a virtual keyboard at login would be one of the first deficiencies anyone would notice?

A simple program that generates a mouse-right-click upon execution, would solve my problem, provided I can map it to an actual keypress or button, which I think I can. As I've stated, I think the Windows button would be ideal in the case of my particular hardware. Pity I'm not a programmer.
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